Reddit | mrbosco9, Facebook

Musician's Fake Fanbase Takes Him On Bizarre World Tour

It was never easy to become a music superstar, but in recent years, it seems to be even more difficult. Considering how much music is out there and how fragmented audiences have become, only a select few can possibly stand out from the rest.

Yet, that's still the dream that a lot of musicians try to chase. So as the going gets tougher, it becomes tempting to try something bold and shocking. If you can't be famous, be infamous, right?

That could explain how this strange story came to pass, but it's honestly hard to tell. The more we learn, the less sense it all makes.

Our story begins normally enough with rock musician Jered Threatin booking some European venues for his tour.

Facebook | Threatin

As the BBC reported, the deal seemed pretty sweet. Both the venues and the bands who would be opening for him were told that his promoter had already confirmed at least 100 ticket sales each.

Of course, anybody can just say that. But a look at Threatin's social media didn't raise any red flags.

Instagram | @jeredthreatin

At the time, he had 38,000 fans on Facebook and 16,000 Instagram followers. So it wasn't unreasonable to assume that he had a dedicated cult audience and could probably sell out smaller venues.

However, none of these "confirmed ticket sales" actually translated to anybody showing up for these shows.

Reddit | mrbosco9

The BBC reported that on at least two of these shows, absolutely no audience members showed up. In the case of his Birmingham and London gigs, less than five people bought tickets.

No matter how quickly news of these empty shows spread, the venues still had to go through with them.

Instagram | @jeredthreatin

Jon Vyner, the booking manager for the Underworld club in London, told the BBC that they were obliged to go through with it because Threatin had already paid the hire fee.

This fee apparently covers most the cost of bar staff, security, and sound engineers needed for the show.

Once word spread far enough about what was going on, Threatin saw fit to cancel a gig in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

It seemed like it would go on as planned, but Threatin reportedly told Belfast's Empire club they weren't coming hours before they were scheduled to perform.

The club's management said they were just "glad the saga was over."

As you might imagine, Threatin's supporting bands were just as baffled as the club owners.

Facebook | GHOST OF MACHINES

All were told that they would play sold-out shows, which made taking time off work and renting a van to get to the gig seem worth it. Understandably, the revelation that nobody was coming inspired some of them to leave early.

However, some bands like Ghost of Machines here saw it through. Their lead singer, Billy John Bingham, told the BBC that he convinced his bandmates to watch Threatin play because he felt "a bit sorry" for them.

Despite it all, Jered Threatin apparently played these empty rooms as if they were full of cheering fans.

YouTube | LUTE BAND

So was he just that much of a consummate professional or was this all part of some bizarre plan of his? That seems to depend on who you ask.

The only thing that's clear about this situation is that somebody made up a few hundred paying Threatin fans.

Instagram | @jeredthreatin

Billy from Ghost of Machines said the band booked their show through a promoter named Casey, but it's now unclear whether this person ever existed.

This "Casey" is also the one who told them that the Bristol gig they were playing already had 180 confirmed ticket sales.

Since nobody can confirm who Casey is, some of those involved are starting to think it was Jered Threatin all along.

YouTube | Threatin

For his part, Billy from Ghost of Machines is convinced that Threatin not only pretended to be his promoter, but is also running his own management and self-publishing his albums.

However, Threatin's bassist for the tour, Gavin Carney, disagrees with this theory.

Twitter | @Gavin_XVI

Gavin made a YouTube video stating that he's just as in the dark as everyone else since he was essentially hired as a session musician for the tour and had no previous experience with Threatin.

Yet, he said he has no reason to believe that Threatin had anything to do with ticket sales and recalls that Jered had made calls to management. At the same time, he also admits that he never met any of these managers and can't confirm their existence.

Gavin also said that Jered Threatin is a legitimately talented musician.

Instagram | @jeredthreatin

In his video, Gavin mentioned that Threatin's claim as a multi-instrumentalist is credible and particularly liked what he could do on bass guitar and drums.

Since the talent is real, he said couldn't imagine why Threatin would need to fake his way through anything.

Unfortunately, anybody expecting any concrete answers from Threatin himself is going to be disappointed.

Instagram | jeredthreatin

Threatin mentioned making a "fake" official statement on his Twitter account before finally tweeting, "What is Fake News? I turned an empty room into an international headline. If you are reading this, you are part of the illusion."

Oddly enough, Patrice Lovelace from London's Underworld club told the BBC that she tried to book Threatin for another show next year since the infamy might translate to actual ticket sales.

However, Jered apparently blocked her on Twitter, leaving her (and the rest of us) to wonder what his point was.